7 Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Memorial Day - United Hub

7 ways to celebrate the true meaning of Memorial Day

By Matt Chernov

Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to 1868, when Union Army General John A. Logan placed wreaths on the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers and issued a proclamation calling for a day of national observance for their sacrifice. More than a century later, President Nixon officially declared the last Monday of May as a federal holiday to honor the American soldiers who died serving in the armed forces in all wars. Though many of us celebrate the day with social events like cookouts, barbecues and backyard get-togethers, the true meaning of Memorial Day is much deeper than that. To help you mark the occasion with the respect it deserves, here are seven ways to experience Memorial Day this — and every other — year.

Enjoy a parade

Memorial Day parades offer us a way to join together as a community and honor the brave men and women who've given their lives for the sake of our freedom. Scheduled to take place in the afternoon on May 28, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. is by far the largest in the country, and includes patriotic marching bands, dazzling floats and a family-friendly atmosphere. In New York City, each of the five boroughs will hold an elaborate Memorial Day parade this year. The biggest one is the Little Neck–Douglaston parade in Queens, and the oldest is Brooklyn's Memorial Day parade, which is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Vietnam Memorial Reflections

Visit a memorial

War memorials are sacred places where we commemorate the courageous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. Inscribed chronologically with the names of more than 58,000 American soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an unforgettable place to visit on Memorial Day, or any other day for that matter. Likewise, the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, offers visitors a variety of ways to honor the soldiers who fell on Omaha Beach in 1944.

Learn about history

Since Memorial Day is a time when we honor fallen service members throughout our country's entire history, a trip to a U.S. military museum is a terrific way to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is one of the finest educational facilities of its kind in the world, and will be hosting several Memorial Day events this year, including a performance by the U.S. Marine Corps Band. Other museums worth visiting include the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, Georgia, and the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland.

Tombstones below beautiful tree in Arlington National Cemetery

Pay your respects

Bringing flowers to a veterans' cemetery is an important way to honor the soldiers who died fighting for our country. That's why each year on Memorial Day weekend, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia holds a deeply moving wreath laying ceremony that's open to the public. If you'd like to participate in a similar ceremony at a veterans' cemetery near you, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs webpage offers a complete list of VA national cemeteries in every state, including up-to-date info on Memorial Day ceremonies being held at each of them this year.

Experience a concert

From the glorious sound of “The Star-Spangled Banner," to the classic song “America the Beautiful," music and Memorial Day go hand-in-hand. So, this year, why not celebrate the holiday with a patriotic concert? Chances are there's a local school or a municipal auditorium near you that's hosting a live musical event to mark the occasion. Or better yet, take a trip to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and enjoy the annual National Memorial Day Concert, which features incredible musical performances, vintage documentary footage and powerful dramatic readings by well-known celebrities. This spectacular concert is broadcast on PBS each year, but the live event is free for the pubic to attend in person.

Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Step into the past

Exploring one of the many historic forts and garrisons located around the country is a fascinating way to pay tribute to the military heroes who helped shape our nation. Fort Verde State Historic Park in Arizona, Fort Sumter National Monument in South Carolina and Fort McHenry (the birthplace of Francis Scott Key's song “The Star-Spangled Banner") in Maryland are all highly recommended public parks that bring history alive on Memorial Day.

Lend a helping hand

Memorial Day is about honoring fallen service members, but that doesn't mean that we can't use the holiday to show our veterans and enlisted men and women how much they mean to us. A great way to do that is by visiting a local veterans' hospital or a nearby VFW post. A simple gift of cookies, cards, poems or flowers might do more to lift the spirits of an aging veteran than you could possibly imagine. Or if you're already planning to host a backyard barbecue this year, try reaching out to the family of someone currently serving in the military overseas and invite them over to share a Memorial Day that you'll never forget.

Getting there

Wherever your Memorial Day travel plans take you, United is there to help. Visit united.com for more info, or use the United app to book your next trip.

Beach or mountains? Take your pick with our newly announced routes to the West Coast, the Rocky Mountains and the Caribbean

By Matt Adams , November 21, 2019

We will continue building out our already expansive route network next year, adding flights to some attractive leisure destinations in the United States and the Caribbean.

Our hometown hub, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, will be the beneficiary of three of those new routes, which include Santa Barbara, California; Pasco, Washington; and Vail, Colorado. Rounding it out, United will add service from Denver to Nassau, Bahamas, and from Houston to Spokane, Washington. Tickets for all of these destinations are on sale now.

Colorful houses in Nassau

The Denver-Nassau route will begin on March 7, 2020, followed by Chicago-Santa Barbara, Chicago-Pasco, Chicago-Vail and Houston-Spokane on June 4. When that time comes, United will be the only airline offering nonstop service between Denver and Nassau and Chicago and Pasco.

All of these routes will open up a world of connection possibilities for customers living in each market. They'll also be scheduled to give flyers optimal arrival and departure time options. For instance, a passenger going from Chicago to Santa Barbara will have a flight option that departs O'Hare at 7:45 p.m. local time, arriving at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:30 p.m. That's ideal for business travelers.

"We want to offer customers the very best schedule, the best network and the most flight options in the industry," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft will serve the Denver-Nassau route. Passengers going from Chicago to Santa Barbara and from Chicago to Vail will fly on the 737-700. United's 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft, equipped with United First, Economy Plus and United Economy class seats, will operate on the Chicago-Pasco and Houston-Spokane routes.

You'll find flight times and additional details in the grid below. For more information and to book your tickets, visit united.com or download the United mobile app.

Depart

Arrive

Frequency

Duration

Chicago (ORD)

7:45 p.m.

Santa Barbara (SBA)

10:30 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

SBA

11:20 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

8:00 p.m.

Pasco (PSC)

10:24 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

PSC

11:38 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

4:00 p.m.

Vail/Eagle (EGE)

5:54 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 6, 2020)

EGE

9:00 a.m.


ORD

12:45 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 7, 2020)

Denver (DEN)

9:56 a.m.

Nassau (NAS)

4:00 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

NAS

11:37 a.m.

DEN

2:43 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

Houston (IAH)

9:32 p.m.

Spokane (GEG)

11:32 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

GEG

11:55 p.m.

IAH

6:17 a.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

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